Wednesday, October 26, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: farm anatomy

My wonderful Dad turned 55 last weekend and to celebrate I got him this beautifully illustrated book, Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman. I knew he would enjoy it because of his love for cooking and raising chickens. I have seen reviews of this book floating around blog land, so if you have seen some inside pages all ready - my apologies, and if not, enjoy because this book is amazing!

Here is a brief description Julia wrote on her blog about the release of Farm Anatomy:
It’s 224 pages of paintings, mostly diagrams and charts, with some writing about all the parts of a farm. For example, there are illustrations that show the parts of a pig, kinds of tractors, varieties of barns, all the different squash, bugs that are good and bad for your garden, and a chart of all the tools you can find on a farm. There’s also recipes, a few craft projects and lots of how-tos (how to make cheese, split wood, cut up a chicken, make a rag rug, can tomatoes…).

I love the way she created this book. You can definitely tell it was a labor of love and so worth the time. Design*Sponge recently had a great review (and giveaway!) of the book where Julia explained her designed process:
While the artwork looks like each illustration is a complete painting, in actuality, it is made up of many pieces. A book goes through many rounds of editing, so it didn’t make sense to make final paintings until everything was reviewed. Instead, I made the layouts through a series of steps. This way, anything could be easily revised. I started the artwork in ink, doing just the lines of the drawings in large sketchbooks. All of the titles and a lot of the text were written out by hand, so that had to be drawn, as well.

I really love her style and enjoyed seeing how she used several techniques to layer to create her book. Check out these images of her hand lettering, illustrations, watercolor, and layouts she used while creating the book:

above images from Design*Sponge

After a year of editing, the book was complete and hit the market October 1st. I pre-ordered mine through Amazon so it arrived shortly after the release date. After looking through my Dad's copy, I really want my own! How many times do you find yourself in the grocery store standing at the meat counter with no clue on whose shoulder is whose and where that roast came from and what are you supposed to do with those tips!?!? I love to cook and try new recipes so I think this book could really help solve those questions. Here are some more pictures of the final interior of the book:

all images from book by its cover

Does this book interest you?

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